How Emotional Intelligence Can Reduce or Eliminate Test Anxiety

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Whether you are a student suffering from test anxiety or a parent with a student experiencing it, you likely know that test anxiety can be a crippling and overwhelming feeling. What causes test anxiety? What aspects of emotional intelligence help to reduce or eliminate test anxiety?

We are answering all these questions in this blog as we examine the impacts on the mind and body and how they relate to anxiety. 

If you seek to solve your test anxiety or help your child overcome theirs, BLOOM’s online courses can help. Discover topics on ADHD, Attention, Anxiety, Fear, Anxiety, Stress and Phobia, and Emotional Control and Regulation

Why Does Test Anxiety Happen?

Some mild nervousness before a big test is standard for most, and it can even help to focus your attention and sharpen your mind for the exam. However, when individuals experience test anxiety, their feelings of self-doubt and worry will interfere with their performance. Whether you have a fourth grader or you are a college student, test anxiety can affect anyone. 

Test anxiety stems from individuals focusing too much on possible bad outcomes of poor test performance. For instance, thinking about failing the test, not remembering the answers, or how it might affect your acceptance to a program can overwhelm individuals to the point where they have difficulty performing.

Test anxiety has many triggers depending on the individual and the environment. Triggers may include talking about the exam before it happens, imagining a poor grade on the exam, or overthinking a possible challenging question.

5 Tips to Ease Test Anxiety

When you experience anxiety before a test, it is your body having a reflexive response. While you may think you can rationally talk yourself out of test anxiety or talk your child out of it, this does not help in cases of true anxiety. 

First, you can try to focus on helping your body be less reactive to the tension you feel at the possibility of a test. This may be a reaction as severe as a panic attack or as mild as an anxious response, such as needing the bathroom more often, dryness in your throat, or jitters in your stomach. 

If you know that you'll get anxiety when it comes to the test, there are many ways to keep yourself calm beforehand and during the test:

1) Drink well- a warm drink is soothing

2) Be sure to go to the bathroom.

3) Take deep cleansing breaths while listening to slow rhythmic music, or in some cases a strong beat (depending on your preference) before the test.

4) Try eating something tart before you start, e.g., lemon ice cubes or cranberry juice. The tangy, sour taste will soothe and calm one's nerves. The reason this is effective is because tart or sour flavors make you salivate more so that you will swallow, and your body will automatically exhale. The exhale is what actually calms you down. 

5) For some people, it works to invert their heads and add the step of shaking your head.

Once you are calm, you can use cognitive affirmations such as: 

"I am loved." 

"I am worthy." 

"I am enough." 

"I am smart and capable."

Managing Anxiety in Life and Parenting with BLOOM 

Anxiety in adults and children is not limited to test taking. While test anxiety is a very commonly experienced type of anxiety, children and adults can experience anxiety around many different everyday practices in life. This blog has offered techniques to help you get in touch with what triggers your anxiety so that you can formulate a plan to reduce anxiety altogether.

Recognizing and managing anxiety is critical to optimal performance and lowering stress, whether for testing taking, job performance, or just life. At BLOOM, our online resources meet adults, parents, and children at their point of need–whether anxiety around taking a test, job performance, or general anxiety about life.

Discover our courses on Anxiety, Fear, ADHD, Attention, Anxiety, Stress and Phobia, Emotional Control and Regulation, and more.

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